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A few weeks ago I lost a dear friend who was about 2 years younger than me, I was devastated. But in my search for healing and closure I got reminded that our physical lives come to an end, except we don’t know when, and it is this unexpected loss that devastates us and not so much death itself. I was also reminded that it is worth making the most out of this life that I have and live it to the fullest while I have it.

So I started asking myself, ‘how can I live my life to the fullest or how else can I make my life more fulfilling and meaningful for me?’ Many thoughts and ideas came to mind as I reflected on these questions. I then came across Filipe Castro, speaking at a Tedx event about ‘going beyond the natural’. He shared something that sounded simple yet powerful; how small changes can bring big outcomes in our lives. He also shared that people who have gone to do great things have done so by going beyond the normal; they challenged the status quo, they challenged their own inhibitions and went on to achieve great things.

Sometimes we do things the way we were told/taught to do them and have never questioned or challenged ourselves whether we can do more or do things differently, and so we end up with the same results, which in most cases are undesirable. Filipe decided to make a small change in his life; his goal was to wake up at 4:30am every work day for 21 days to help himself become more productive, and so he was sharing what he learnt in those 21 days. Waking up early is not something new as a lot of people do it, but he just wasn’t one of them and he decided to make that change for himself.

Why am I doing the #21earlydays Challenge?

Washington Monument at sunriseAfter listening to Filipe I thought to myself, aha, this is something I would like to do; stretch myself beyond my comfort zone because I want to live my life better and to the fullest. And for me waking up early is a tool for achieving bigger goals and outcomes. So I thought about some of the things I want to do or accomplish and decided I will achieve them by adding more hours in my day (a.k.a waking up at 4:30am every work day to do them). These include exercising, reading (Lord help me on this one), meditation and prayer, planning my day better, getting to work on time, getting other personal things done such as grad school applications, just to mention a few. My belief is that when you set goals and see yourself achieving them no matter how big or small, it boosts your confidence and self-esteem and so it helps you aim for more.

And why am I sharing this journey with you all?

  1. Accountability: Much as I am able to do and accomplish things on my own, sometimes it takes others holding me accountable to make it. My hope is that by sharing my journey with you, I will feel a sense of accountability and that it will propel me to keep on.
  2. Inspiration for someone: Just like I was inspired by Filipe, I hope that someone will get inspired too and do something to bring positive change in their life. It doesn’t have to be waking up early, it could be changing a habit, an ideology, a behavior, a mindset, etc, any change you feel will help you achieve different and better results in your life. Remember, we only live this life once, so let’s make the most out of it!

I am choosing to change how I do things in order for me to attain different and better results. And that is my encouragement to you too. Hopefully you’ll enjoy sharing this #21EarlyDays Challenge/journey with me which I start tomorrow, November 9th till December 7th 2015, waking up at 4:30am every week day. I will keep you updated once a week with a blog summarizing my learning and encounters of that week, but also daily tweets when I wake up with a word to inspire or challenge you.

You can follow me on twitter: @longwegrace12 for my daily tweets.